childhood, Culture, Education, Wildlife

Big Creek

For the past couple of weeks I have been enchanted by a Facebook site whose entire focus is looking back at my old hometown, Delhi Ontario.

Young fishers on the bank, waiting hopefully for that first tug.

It has been a treat, viewing grade school pictures and tagging names to people I haven’t seen in 60 years.  There have been renewed conversations with these long lost friends.  While the site’s members are asking others to remember their shared experiences, it has also rekindled some memories of my own that I clearly had forgotten.   Running central through these experiences is Big Creek.

The creek drains west Norfolk, like a vast willowy exotic plant.

Big Creek is about 40 miles long from its smallest tributary running into Windham township, at the northern border of Norfolk County. As it heads south towards Lake Erie it gains volume and girth, first with the addition of Brondy Creek north of town, then Cranberry Creek, from the west, in Middleton, then Trout Creek and Silver Creek come from the east, in Charlotteville.  Further south it expands as Venison Creek flows in from the west of Walsingham.

Two youngsters head into the edge of the Carolynian forest.

It drains west Norfolk through a valleyed web of locally named brooks, streams, rivulets, freshets and runs that on a map looks like the willowy profile of a vast, exotic plant.  Through its valleys grow a robust Carolinian forest, distinguished by towering beech, hickory, walnut, sassafras, butternut and tulip trees.  The woods are alive with rich scents and sounds, modified by the steady gurgle of flowing water.  Underfoot we find marsh marigolds and vast spreads of skunk cabbage.

Along every bank there is a path, both sides, worn deep by the feet of literally centuries of generations of natives, settlers, small animals and small people.  They are there to walk, fish, camp, trap, hunt, swim, wade and stare deep into  the current’s constant pushing of sand and silt towards the lake.

Green pools hide the fish on a sunny afternoon.

Fighting the flow are small fish– trout: brook, brown, and occasional suckers which vacuum the river bed.  They are scurrying against the riffles to sink deep into the green pools under fallen trees and trapped logs.  Every elbow in the river is the occasional site of fishers dangling a monofilament line over the pool, waiting for a tug.

The creek offered new events at every turn, especially after the spring floods.

As a boy, no more than 8 or 9, I accepted the waterway as open territory for discovery, as did all of my friends.  Big Creek was as accessible as the school yard and main street.  But more inviting, as it constantly delivered new events at every turn.

At the north end of town, a half mile pedal, racing down swimming pool road, a driveway took us into Deerlick, a rustic retreat.  Some church owned it, and sent their meditating members off to think, and maybe relax.  We wheeled in there on our bikes, and stopping in the woods, a few hundred yards, dumped our clothes, and jumped into a clear, shallow stream that flowed into the mother creek.

Icy water, 12 inches deep!  We hung in long enough to claim a short rebellion against our parents’ warnings to stay out of trouble.  Somewhere back towards the road we could hear the occasional rumble of cars over a steel bailey bridge paved with heavy, loose, oak timbers, and a pounding reminder that civilization wasn’t too far off.

The old swimming hole: fun, sand and noisy with shouts and splashes at a bend in the creek.

The little stream poured into a larger current, and a few minutes back to Delhi, past the horseshoe, which was an abandoned oxbow in the creek, and one could see the old swimming hole.  A sturdy wire bridge was suspended over the creek to reach the other side.

This was a service club’s effort to offer some fun for the youth of Delhi.  At a gentle bend in the creek, the water deepens as it wraps around a sandy beach, grossly out of place in the woods.  Were it not for Norfolk’s sandy composition, there would be no beach.  Nevertheless, there is a place to suntan, a change house, and every weekend the screams and chatters of a host of jubilant kids spread across the creek waters as they drift slowly by.

The dark water streamed by keeping us cool and moving.

The swimming hole is just that.  Shallow on the beach side, the creek bed drops off immediately into a dark, murky green pool.  The big kids jump off a diving board into the dark waters.  On the beach side, I walk out to the end of a small dock and jump in, expecting to hit bottom, waist deep.  There is no bottom, to my surprise, and am shocked enough to inhale two lungs full of water.  My last memory is a stream of yellow bubbles rising before my eyes.

I woke up in the change house some time later.  Luckily, I had been missed by a lifeguard who jumped in and pulled me out.  She must have been terrified as they pumped me and shook me in the change house.  I awoke under the eyes of a group of concerned kids.  I had a horrific case of the hiccups which lasted all the way home as my brother escorted me.  When I met my parents, I said I had taken a mouthful.  A couple years ago, I sent that lifeguard a note with a picture of my family and grand kids.  I pointed out they were her doing, and thanks.

The site was eventually downgraded to a camp for out-of-work transient tobacco workers, and the service club built a new pool up by the rink. Today the area is entirely unrecognizable, and the bridge is gone.

Skunk cabbage: big, voluptuous and odiferous.

The creek flows south, just behind a cliff.  At the top is Talbot Street, and that is the address of the Anglican church, St. Albans, then St Casimir’s the Lithuanian church, and St John Brebuf school.  It is one of the oldest streets in town, and is named after John Talbot who mapped southwestern Ontario, earning himself a throughway called the Talbot Road.  More currently it is Highway 3.

Highway 3 bridge on the west side. Upstream we played hockey in the winter.

Just before Big Creek curves under the bridge, there is a slow spot.  In the winter the ice forms easily, and we often went down to play hockey on the grey skin of ice in the winters.  One had to be careful as open water drifted close by, and our mutual responsibility was to stop the puck from sliding into the icy black that bubbled and melted the edges of our rink.

After the bridge, the creek has a run of a couple hundred yards in shallow waters before it hits Quances Dam.  There are stacks of rough cut wood there, six feet high, air-curing.  I have climbed on those boards and waited for hours to spot the groundhogs coming out on a spring day to catch some noon sun.  The brownie camera I hold takes vague, grey pictures, but they are gold to me, better than Disney, actually.

Big Creek jams up at the dam.  The dam is old, originally placed there in 1830, and powered the lumber mill and feed mill owned by the Quances, one of Delhi’s earlier families.

Quance’s Dam: a concrete pillbox was our watching station for fish jumping.

In my younger years there, I never sensed that lumber was a business. The dam was for our entertainment entirely.  Water cascaded over the concrete, separated by a ten-foot-high pill box between two spillways.  We would jump into the pillbox to stare up into the lip of the dam that was under a steel bailey bridge.  We looked for whatever was coming down, and occasionally for some hardy fish that thought they could jump up into the water above.

Quance’s Mill, creekside.

In the pool below there were small retention ponds built out of stones put there by fishers who wanted to keep their catch alive but captive, until they went home.  One day we played in the pond looking for crayfish and found a nest of lamprey eel.  They were just babies, about six inches long, flashing silver in our hands as we grabbed for them.  They would grow eventually to attach themselves to the game fish in the stream, and in Lake Erie.  Evil little slitherers.

Around the corner, there once was a hanging bridge that crossed the creek.  I never saw it, but it was a convenience for folks who didn’t want to walk around Western Avenue to get to the dam, which was a rendezvous for many purposes.  Farther down, the creek flows under the road, and past Stapleton’s stone welding and metal fabricating shop that is a landmark. When we built a go-kart, he built us an axle for the wheels.

Perhaps the loneliest, most foreboding building in town, our sewage plant.

Further south, the pungent odor of sulphur fouls the air.  We have frequently walked down the dirt road to the town’s sewage plant.  There, we would pass by a one-story cinder block building, lonely, unattractive and foreboding.  Beside it, a fenced off water distribution system carouseled around a 60-foot-wide circle, dripping treated water into a bed of rocks.  There was an intrepid group of truants who climbed the fence and rode the pipes one afternoon, reportedly.  There was mention of a police visit.  It was during school hours, so we missed that.  Nevertheless, we were in awe of their bravado.

Beside the sewage plant springs a bubbling fountain of sulphur water.  It boils out of the ground, exuding its trademark stench, and leaves a milky film over the rocks as it flows down to the creek.  Like a saviour, Big Creek takes both the sulphur water and the treated sewage water away, cleansing the town of its trespasses.

A couple more bends in the creek and it curves past a reforested pine woods.  There were many Saturdays when we sat in those woods, loaded up with a giant bottle of Coca Cola and a pack of cigarettes and solved the problems of our world, mostly school, teachers, parents and girls.  The meandering creek took our troubles away with it.

The new Lehman’s Dam, equipped with fish ladder forms a magnificent small lake extending to highway 3.

Just before it hits another bridge, the waters are joined by the North branch as it is called locally, and Lehman’s dam traps a small lake of water further upstream.  If one ventures up North creek, it eventually cuts under highway 3.  Just around the corner we camped up there for a night in a small canvas wall tent.  Fire, food, smokes, our friendly companion dog for company, and the calls of mourning doves made for a pleasant vacation in the woods.  We were 11 years old, and living the good life.

The early Grand Trunk steam engines blew their whistle on the trestle coming into town.

Back down at Big Creek proper, it travels south under the railway trestle.  Grand Trunk used to run trains over it, and then the CNR.  The trestle still stands today, black and rusted, out of use, and it is a monument to the energy and will of a bygone business generation.   50-year-old trees are growing among its foundations.  When I was very young that same rail line had steam engines pounding over the rails, and I can remember their flute-like whistles, nothing like today’s diesels with their air horns.

The trestle today, unused but picturesque. Credit: Randy Goudeseune.

This patch of creek is a highway for foot traffic.  We often came here, walking down from William street, over the tracks, and into the woods.  On any given Saturday this was a destination hike, punctuated by a campfire, and a sizzling frying pan of hamburger, potatoes and onions.

There was a particular elbow that we would camp on, where the creek rushed by in six inches of rapids.  Wandering out into the water, I fetched a peculiar rock that stuck out among the froth.  Picking it up, it looked like a brick, but very smooth and scarred with shallow scallops like someone had scraped the sides with a spoon.  It was block of flint.

Not knowing this, but still intrigued, I hefted the brick into my knapsack and took it home.  There, I chipped away at it with my dad’s hammer, and amid the sparks, broke off sharp thin wafers of flint.  Before long, I was failing,  but enjoying the attempts at making flint arrowheads.  Just another gift from the creek.  I still have the rock today.

Dicks Hill bridge under horse and carriage.

On Saturdays we went for bike rides beyond the tobacco factory.  The gravel road led to the long sloping Dick’s Hill intersected again by Big Creek.  The steel bridge there was a bailey construction with rumbling timbers that shook with every car that crossed over.  From that bridge you could fish, spit, drop stones and apples to the smoothly passing water below.  The town council closed that bridge in the 70s, and cut off the neighbours to the west of the creek.

The bridge in 1984.

A couple hundred yards in, at another elbow we camped in a grassy clearing over a 24th of May weekend: wall tent, food, fire and our same faithful dog.  It was a delicious, sunny warm afternoon followed by a quiet star-lit night.  Totally inspired, we rigged up a large tripod, and boiled a 5-gallon drum full of water and took showers, then turned in to bed, wet heads on a mattress of pine bows.  The dog wouldn’t enter the tent and slept outside, no doubt looking for varmints.  Next morning we woke under a heavy chill, with horrendous, thick, throaty coughs.  Outside, the dog slept, covered in a heavy coat of frost.

Croton Dam generated 60-cycle hydro to Quance’s Mill. It couldn’t hold the water back in 1937.

A couple miles down from Dicks Hill are the remains of Croton Dam.  We got there by gravel road and bike.  This structure was built over 50 years earlier in 1907, and blew out in 1937.  By the time we discovered Croton it had a young forest of trees growing out of its foundations.  The portions of the dam still standing are worthy of climbing and walking, all the time staring up the steep hill on the other side of the creek.  Looking upstream, it’s easy, and stunning to visualize what the mill pond used to look like, stretching back perhaps half a mile.  Croton provided Quances Mill with 60 cycle hydro, long before Ontario Hydro.

Our furthest bike pursuit of Big Creek was Lynedoch.  This little hamlet is poised in a valley around the bridge over the creek.  Just south is an orderly grove of walnut trees planted decades before: probably thirty or forty 50-foot trees in neat rows across the flats.

A few tools from the fields south of Lynedoch.

As the creek wanders past Lynedoch to another elbow, you can still walk up to the field above where there are arrow heads and tools left behind by an Indian village centuries ago.  Just another find by the water’s edge if you care to look.

Having unloaded my memories of Big Creek, it comes to mind just how lucky we were as kids to live in an unfettered, free-range world, to wander for miles, away from home.  By today’s urban standards, our parents would all be in court facing child abandonment charges.  Thanks to their trust, and maybe to their post-war sense of relief, we were launched optimistically to explore and learn, full time.

All the while, Big Creek was our playground and classroom.

Thanks for hanging in there and getting this far.  This was a long essay, but so is the creek.  Please like and share this one!  Thanks also to John Waite, Randy Goudeseune , James Bertling, and Alice DeGeyter whose Facebook posts supplied some of the images.

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Agriculture

Tobacco, Gardening and Growing Up

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Norfolk County tobacco in its prime.

Gardening is a passion for many.   It’s also an education.  Living in the suburbs today, I now realize my first summer jobs in tobacco were an education on a grand scale.

But when you are sweating it out along a sandy trail between endless rows of voluptuous green, you don’t recognize the perspective it gives to one’s view of the world from then on.

Let me tell you about growing this insidious, but historic, magnificent plant.

Norfolk County is a sandy-loam, verdant garden on the north shore of Lake Erie.   It’s recognizable on any map by the 22-mile spit of sandbar called Long Point that hooks into the center of the lake.  Flying from Chicago to Toronto, you can see the milky currents wrapping around it from the air.

Today tobacco is a small fraction of the agriculture in Norfolk, but from the 1920’s up to the ’70s, tobacco farms neatly patched the landscape, rich in wealth and long in work.

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The Norfolk growers are proud of their neat and efficient farms.

A 100 acre tobacco farm could furnish a family nicely, provide for a new car every few years, fund college, build barns and also buy a trip off to Florida for a well earned vacation in the winter.  It would take a 1,000 acre wheat farm to deliver the same income.

But making that all come together required interminably long work, accented by brilliant sun on hot sandy fields.

Greenhouse

In March the greenhouses are steamed to heat and humidify the rich soil for germinating seeds.

Tobacco Seedlings

By May, millions of shoots are ready for transplanting.

In late March the growers steam the greenhouses, getting them warm and moist to germinate microscopic tobacco seeds which are sprinkled across rich, black dirt like poppy seeds.   These grow to 12-inch shoots by May, ready to be pulled and planted.

The shoots are planted from behind a tractor.   Two workers, usually women, sit on a frame and feed plants into a steel wheel that parts the sandy soil into a furrow, drops the tobacco plant, and then closes the furrow behind.

You can plant more than 10,000 shoots in one acre.

Early June and school’s out, and summer jobs begin to blossom, just as the adolescent tobacco plants are spreading their first leaves, called “sand leaves”.   All manner of weeds try to overtake the tobacco. Our first serious job is to scrape a hoe between each plant, spaced roughly 18 inches apart.

hoeing tobacco

Hoeing: meticulous painstaking work.

It’s 7 in the morning, and we are at the edge of the field.   Mourning doves are cooing, off in the bordering woods, and the air is fresh with the scent of dew evaporating on the tobacco.

Hoeing is a walking activity.   Wearing a hat, shirtless, and in shorts, I shuffle along a row carefully carving out weeds between the tobacco.   There’s a million plants, shared by five workers: me and 4 women.

It’s painstaking work.  If careless, the hoe will cut the tobacco plant, which will cost the grower money, and that can be painful.

Most memorable along these interminable rows was the unceasing chatter among the workers, sharing stories from family fortune to family scandal.  As the youngest in the group, and as the only male, my role was to listen, and take the jibes from the women.

replanter

Do-over: the replanter dropped a new plant and a cup of water into the soil.

Then there’s replanting for dead and missing plants.   Toting a six-quart basket with new plants and a water tank strapped to my shoulder, a replanter punches a hole in the furrow, drops a plant down the chute, pulls a lever on the chute and a cup of water is dispensed.

Replanting is my punishment for hoeing a plant under, a week ago.

My recollection of this job is twofold: the rows are unending, and the cold water from the farm’s well, pumped by a windmill, is heavily laced with sulphur.   After 10 in the morning, the sun is high.   The body dries up pretty quickly, and water breaks were serious and necessary.  Gulping down a pint of icy sulphur water is a challenge.

By 3 in the afternoon, staring along the next row, the heat waves make the woodlot at the other end a shimmering green plasma.   No matter; we work until 4:30 or so.  After a few days of hoeing, the frigid sulphur water tastes sweet.

tractor (1)

Long straight lines at 2 miles per hour.

Next, we cultivate.   The tractor pulls a wheeled, steel frame manned with two guys, heads down, hands controlling little rakes, zigging and zagging between each plant, digging out a second round of weeds.  Great for building your pecs and ceps.

I drive the tractor.   This is hot work, roasting slowly over a 6-cylinder diesel Massey Ferguson.   So hot and monotonous that I fall asleep behind the wheel.   I have driven across three rows before I wake to the scowls and groans of the boss’s sons who are zig zagging behind me.

Stone age cultivator, left by the Tuscarora.

Stone age cultivator, left by the Tuscarora.

The upside of walking or driving down countless rows is finding a handful of ancient arrow heads and prehistoric farm tools along the way, remnants from the Tuscarora that long since have moved on.

Every day the tobacco continues to sprout new leaves as it shoots skyward.

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The flowers are lopped off to encourage leaf growth.

When the plants have mushroomed to shoulder high, we take a brisk walk down the rows topping off the flowers to encourage a fuller plant.

August brings heat and showers, and cooler nights.   The tobacco plant has about twenty broad leaves, stands a good 5-6 feet high, 3 feet across, and is rich green and aromatic.   The leaves are as large as tennis rackets, and along the stems, they sweat beads of juice which turns to black tar on the hands after a while.

The harvest begins.   On my first tobacco summer, 1965, we had 5 “primers”…pickers from South Carolina.   They walked the rows, hunched over, pulling leaves, starting with the sand leaves.  They earned this name as their bottom sides are coated with sand.   It’s seven-days-a-week work, because the crop is an unstoppable force, growing as fast as it can.

primers copy

Priming: picking the leaves is back breaking work. Nowadays primers ride picking machines.

The primers pull off the leaves, usually about three per plant, and tuck them under their arm until they have a bundle of 30-40 bunched up like stacks of green newspaper. Standing up, they bring the leaves over to a horse-drawn tobacco “boat” that follows in the row.

The boat was on wooden runners, and pulled by a tired horse who probably wondered daily how he ended up here sweating in the field.   The primers were sympathetic, but not kind, and pretty course  with their language for the old gentleman who didn’t need the work.

tobacco boat1

My first job was on a farm with horse drawn tobacco boats.

The priming crew will go through the hundreds of rows of tobacco 3 or 4 times to pick all the leaves as they mature.

When the boat is full, at the end of a row, it’s winched onto a trailer and tractored back to the tobacco kiln.   In Norfolk, we called them “kills”.

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The tobacco kilns were a landmark of Norfolk County.

A typical tobacco kiln stands about 20 feet high, and 25 feet square.  Usually covered in green tar paper with red doors, these cube-like structures dot the landscape.   Every farm has at least 7 kilns, one for every day of curing required.

Tobacco Tying

Hand tying: a lost art. Each stick carried about 10 pounds of leaves.

But before the tobacco is placed in the kiln, the leaves are sewn onto sticks, each about 4 feet long.

It used to be that tobacco was hand-tied onto the stick.  About three tobacco leaves were half-hitched at a time by their stems, by a lady using a continuous string.   A good tier could tie about 10 pounds of leaves onto a stick in about a minute.

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The tobacco tying machine delivered speed and finished product faster.

Sometime in the 60s, someone invented the more contemporary tying machine.  This is a conveyor belt with an industrial stitcher.

Three ladies run the machine.   The first pulls a bed of 20 leaves, by their stems, onto the belt, and as the belt moves along, she grabs another set of leaves for the next bundle.  Lady #2 would lay down some more leaves, plus a tobacco stick, and pulls some more leaves on to cover the stick.   Lady #3 continues laying on leaves as the stick goes by, under a roller, and under the stitcher.   It delivers 10 pounds of leaves straddling the stick.  All to the rise and fall of a conversation that flows with the chatter of the stitching machine.

The ladies turn out 2-3 sticks a minute.

kilnhanger-2-Lance

The kiln hanger strung up 2-3 sticks per minute, skipping across 20-foot-high beams.

These leafy sandwiches are sent up a second conveyor into the kiln.   The kiln hanger, who is me, waits at the other end, standing on a shaky row of 2 x 10 boards, loosely resting between two beams, 15 feet above the dirt floor.   I grab the stick by its middle, and suspend it in notches between two beams over my head.

There’s enough time to walk on the boards to the notches, place the stick, and get back for the next stick.

Occasionally I miss a notch, or a stick breaks, and it plummets to the ground, crashing on the beams below and landing in a pile of leaves like a great wounded bird, with green feathers everywhere.

When a row is finished, I move the 2 by 10s to another position, either below or above me, and climb into position.   The conveyor is moved, raised or lowered.   The conveyor jumps into motion.   One wrong step and I join the bird.

At the end of the day, all of the doors of the kiln have been closed snugly over the bulging sticks of tobacco.  1200 sticks, 6 tons of tobacco, wet.

A typical kiln holds 1200 sticks. We filled 40 kilns during harvest.

A typical kiln holds 1200 sticks. We filled 40 kilns during harvest.

Harvest takes about 5 weeks, finishing after Labor Day, unless we get frost early.

Standing in the doorway of the kiln and looking up, I see a mouse’s eye-view of a beautifully trimmed forest of leaves, in hundreds of orderly rows, hung like romaine lettuce, ready for baking.  Early in the harvest, those leaves drop millions of grains of sand, so an upward look usually ends up with watery eyes.

Kiln fires gave a frightening glow across the sky at night.

Kiln fires gave a frightening glow across the sky at night.

In the early days of tobacco curing, hot open flame oil burners were lit below the leaves.   This is flue-curing.   A harvest never went by without a dozen kilns going up in smoke and flames, a spectacular, punishing and frightening sight, all at the same time.

During the 60s someone got the idea to have forced air blown through an external furnace, and into the kiln, removing the threat of fire.   A local entrepreneur made a fortune manufacturing the blowers for all the kilns in Norfolk.

The tobacco is flue-cured in the kiln for about 7 days.    Warm, dry air is circulated bottom to top among the leaves.   By day seven, it is golden and smells sweet and peppery.  Each leaf has given up a cup of water, and has shrunk to the dimension of a tired dish towel.

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In the late 70s tobacco pickers rode a machine with baskets. No more stoop work, no more horses.

Late after supper on the 7th day, or early in the cool dark morning of the 8th day, a crew brings a wagon up to the kiln, and gingerly unloads the kiln.   They gently lay the sticks of tobacco down on the wagon bed, being careful not to damage the leaves.  The kiln is ready for a new batch.

I have personally touched, hung, or cultivated every one of the leaves in this kiln.   By summer’s end, I have loaded 40 kilns.

The harvest is pulled to the tobacco barn where it will remain until stripping, sometime in November.   The sticks and tobacco string are stripped from the leaves which are then bound into bales the size of a kitchen microwave.

I never saw the stripping process, but reportedly, it occurs in a hot, humid room which forces the strippers to shuck off their clothes after a while.   The event is aptly named, and there are tales of racy, raunchy humor surrounding it.

Tobacco Exchange

The auction house in winter. The product was bought, and exported to the far east.

Delhi Sign

Hometown Delhi, center of the Canadian tobacco industry.

Sometime in January, the growers take their bales to auction, and there they are sold to cigarette manufacturers like Imperial Tobacco, Rothman’s and MacDonald Stewart, whose Canadian customers prefer the Ontario flue-cured leaf, much different than the tobacco that comes from the southern states.   Today, that market has been dwarfed by the far east, where smoking is more popular, and less regulated.

The “dutch auction” is an unusual process.   A ceiling price is first established, and then the single hand of a clock spins slowly through descending prices.  The first buyer to hit their buy button wins the grower’s lot.

From the auction house the grower’s tobacco is trucked to the factory.   In my hometown of Delhi, the Imperial plant was on the south side.

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Another planting.  The young crop absorbs sun and rain before its explosive growth.

By early February and March the plant was processing tobacco, and when a warm south wind blew across town, there was a pervasive, mildly exciting, sweet earthy fragrance that tickled the nose.   Unforgettable, 50 years later.

As I said at the outset, tobacco is a magnificent plant, and troubling too.  I have no use for it, and can’t recommend it.   Still, a good crop is a work of discipline, and there isn’t a day that those priceless memories of demanding, careful labor, delivering a harvest–a real summer job–don’t come to visit.

And I like to garden, too.

 

 

Thanks for reading! This was as long as some of those rows. It’s been years since my days in Norfolk. I can’t forget the smell and feel of the countryside. It’s sweet and distant, and I always like to go back to visit. Who says you can’t go home again?

 

 

 

 

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